It all starts in the mind and when you realise how easy it is to keep yourself in a healthy shape that you like, you just have to follow it for the rest of your life (with small adaptions) and learn how to read it and listen to it. Our flesh, blood and mind has a particular way of being very informative when it comes to what we need and should consume, or not consume. But you need to live with your body and mind, not go against it's natural instincts and needs.
Everyone needs food, water, vitamins and minerals. We need some daily exercise to strengthen the mind as well as our muscles and the blood system feels more vital and energetic by getting some extra heart contractions through more physical activities. Depending on what you aim for, it's rather easy to get these various points together if you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle where you can eat mostly what you want in normal sizes and exercise in a more daily basis. It's always better to do something smaller regular and every day then super hard two times per week. One should also be careful with the abuse of food in both directions. Starving yourself and the next minute indulge into a mountain of trash food is always a destructive behaviour. Food is nutrition and life, if you haven't already got that relationship in order in your grown up years, it's about time you start working on it to be able to enjoy it fully for the rest of your life without anxiety and regrets.
Take in, that this is what works best for me, but in general we can all live by this in one way or another with small corrections for yourself that feels good. This is already said and written about ten thousand times and it's not Einstein, but sometimes we need to be reminded about how easy it is if you make it a lifestyle rather than a short time goal for a bikini season.
I've inherited good genes I have to admit, or I think so anyhow, it's hard to tell because I'm brought up with this mentality and home cooked, healthy food with lots of vegetables was always a part of my nutrition's when growing up. Exercise also, mainly because of my mother taken well care of her body and mind without getting obsessed. She was always a little curvy, but it was not only for the weight she taught me all of this, mainly because the body is our temple and we should take really good care of it in our life. We owe it to it. Which leads me on to today's post.
Last couple of month I've got comments, emails and questions here and on my Instagram account as well as in real life if I haven't lost weight after giving birth? Yes I have, how contradicting it may seem. People told me when I was younger ... Yes, you might have a nice body now, but after producing a child inside of you and giving birth and the year after, you'll see.
I always thought that would be the truth and came to peace with the thought, but also kept in mind some women I really admire and adore and they always looked more beautiful after having children. Like if that miracle of becoming a mother, the knowledge you get, gives you something special, which is hard to describe.
I gained a normal amount (11kg) during my pregnancy, but couldn't take my walks as usual because of that horrible SPD (foglossning) that stroke me very early, the sickness and the never ending tiredness that was so devastating. After the birth it was the same. Mostly I sat home in our apartment in Stockholm, drained but happy and I was just separated from the rest of the world, totally busy cocooning with this little treasure of mine with a lot of pain down there, tired of getting very little sleep etc. But still i felt a huge admiration towards my body, because after two month I felt it had recovered itself to an extend I never thought was possible. After all the pain, weight, extended tissue and skin - the body just worked biologically perfect (i still had more kg on my body then usual but it seemed so un relevant) and I understood the strength and the power of it.
My respect for myself, the body and how the nature has built us increased enormously. Especially for the female body, is just beyond fascinating and I truly respect it!
I started to feel that I needed to care of it even more and really treated it with the fully attention it deserved. I had neglected my easy exercise that I always did at home and my walks which I did wherever before the pregnancy. Because of the tiredness of being a first time mother and also in a situation without a man as help five days a week, I didn't eat that well and the priorities often went to Alexis instead to me.
In April/May (when Alexis was abut 10-11 month) I seriously felt that I needed to get myself in the right track again, my whole being just screamed for it, I could feel it was suffering from inside. And all i started to do was taking a morning walk about 25-30 minutes almost every morning, or at least five days per week. I made sure I eat a lot of vegetables and did one regular fruit smoothie to me and Alexis per day for the fact that I'm not fond of just eating fruit like that. Our son is also milk protein allergic (not the lactose) and so I had to start cook differently though M and me still uses cream, milk, butter etc, but I couldn't eat it in front of him. Before I easily drank one (!) litre (1000ml) of milk every day. I don't anymore, I don't need it and for the fact it's not healthy to consume so much. I still eat one box of butter per week (M always complains, I put butter on everything) but that is my pleasure and I love it too much to let it go. So some small exercises every day and just started to eat better, no more, no less.
What I want to say is that after birth I understood the physiology of us so much better, it all made sense and I felt I had a big purpose in life to really take care of it and treat it well. I still eat everything, but also a lot of healthy stuff and I try to buy seasonal, cook it correctly and only eat unhealthy things if I really like them, not just out of boredom or because it's there in front of me.
M and me drink some wine to our dinner at least 4 times per week, I have some chocolate almost every evening and we cook normal food, but also have a starter with fresh vegetables before every dinner and we both love it. It's all about finding the balance in everything you do. Sometimes we have weekends where we eat pizza, chips and all of that of course, but then i just make sure to go faster on my walks and maybe a little longer, normally the body tells me how it wants to be treated and after consuming a lot of refined sugar, fat etc, It wants to move itself more. That's just the natural rhythm of the body.
In the November issue of the UK edition of Harpers Bazar, they write about this subject also, how women after birth very often get a little skinnier and not to seldom look better than before. I have a lot of girlfriends which I can see this positive transformation on and I can see how my body is stronger then ever so I think it's true for a lot of people.
It has also has to do with the fact that you seldom sit still as a parent/mother; toddlers run around, you cary them with one hand while doing something else with the other (you should see the muscles on my arms .... ) If you didn't have a well developed simultaneous capacity before, it will improve, it has too. More movement means burning calories and building muscles without even notice.
So one shouldn't be afraid to get pregnant for that reason, maybe it will be something even better in your mind, body and soul after. I surely think mothers are the most beautiful of mammals in this world. Not because of all of this, but because it is hell of a job being a mother and we have so much love, endless understanding and energy when it comes to our children. And we give our life, literally for the sake and wellbeing of them. It's beautiful and deserved a big admiration.
But this way of being a healthy person in general, is what you should aim for. That's how I live my life, with no restrictions, but with a big dose of knowledge and awareness of what my body says to me. I really try to take care of it in my everyday life. Healthy in this case means: eat and drink whatever you feel like but in normal portions. Never eat sweets or chips before you have a sandwich, food or something real, because then you're craving will be unstoppable and one minute later you will have eaten a half chocolate cake and didn't even enjoy it as it should be enjoyed because your body wanted food not chocolate cake. Never drink sodas etc if you're not really crave for it. Water is what should be drunken when thirsty, soda, juice, beer, wine etc is for pleasure in normal quantities. Same with everything in life. Enjoy what you eat, eat slowly, feel it, taste it, sniff it and all of your senses will be fulfilled and you will be satisfied more easily.
I've actually never been so strong in my body as now, after birth which I'm proud and happy for. I've written much more about it HERE, please read if you want!
Have a nice weekend! We're off to Geneva in this snowstorm ...